I must admit: I love watching infomercials for widgets and gadgets on TV. Every time I see one I, if only for an instant, believe the tool or device they’re touting could solve whatever my pesky problem is. And then, these modern-day snake oil salesmen really draw me in with their mantra, “Act now and we’ll give you TWO for the price of ONE!”
Countless times I’ve picked up the phone to order one of these fantastic whosie-whatsits or problem solving doo-dads, but reality sets in as I begin to dial, and I’ve hung up without making a purchase. Don’t get me wrong – I‘m certain some of these products can truly deliver on their boastful claims, but deep inside I don’t honestly believe these products are going to solve all of my laundry problems or make my six year-old Honda shine like new. I guess it’s the allure of the easy fix that draws me in.
With my cravings in check, I fire up my office computer, and what shows up in my Inbox? An ad from some publication telling me how to integrate all of my hospital’s data and fix all of my readmission issues…all for the low price of $299! Again, I reach for the phone and, again, hang up. Oh, the agonies produced by the charms of the easy fix! If all of a hospital’s problems could be fixed instantly by knowledge purchased online for a few hundred dollars. Imagine the vacations everyone could take with the savings!
A hospital group cannot afford being misled by empty promises, half-baked software or false advertising when searching for credentialing, privileging or quality system’s to manage provider’s data – there’s simply too much at stake. It is important to conduct thorough research into a potential solution prior to picking up the phone, remember you’ll be tied to your decision for some time. Here are some tips for due diligence:
Visit the company’s website and read their press releases.
Scrutinize the company, how long have they been in business? Do they understand the challenges faced by your industry or do they just have shiny packaging?
Subscribe to the company’s blog to see what company leaders share on a regular basis, are they thought leaders?
Identify colleagues familiar with the product and ask them for honest testimony.
Does the company have any partnerships you recognize, trust or can leverage?
After completing your own unbiased research, you will be able to pick up the phone and engage in a meaningful conversation with confidence. You may find the solution you were originally interested in is not the easy fix you saw on TV, but quality doesn’t come cheap and it certainly doesn’t come in two for one packaging.
Jim Cox is the CEO of Medkinetics, LLC. and the Co-founder of SEERhealth LLC. Jim is a serial entrepreneur who has been creating software for over 30 years. For the last 12 years, his work has been focused on the healthcare industry through Medkinetics and specifically on developing world class software for credentialing, privileging and performance improvement. Jim is the author of numerous patents and is a graduate of MIT in Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering.